Wasilla, AK, received a great deal of attention in 2008 as the city where VP candidate Sarah Palin once served as mayor, and as a place with a terrible crystal meth problem. Wasilla is also the city that gave listeners Portugal. The Man -- an alternative pop/rock outfit that has had a lot of potential but hasn't always been consistent. Censored Colors, it turns out, is their most consistent and memorable album (certainly as of 2008), and this 53-minute CD finds Portugal. The Man sounding more focused and decisive without sacrificing their experimental nature. The Alaskans have tried different things on different releases; on Censored Colors, their approach is best described as alternative pop/rock with theatrical leanings and elements of progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and soul. Rock musicals are an influence -- Portugal. The Man's members sound like have been checking out Tommy and Hair -- as are artists ranging from Pink Floyd to Radiohead to the Beatles (the gift that keeps on giving). But Portugal. The Man never sound confused on Censored Colors; they had some growing and developing to do, and they show a lot of growth as a band on this 2008 release. That is not to say that Censored Colors isn't self-indulgent at times, but the album's excesses are not a major problem -- and overall, Censored Colors leaves listeners with a favorable impression of the band. Censored Colors is a definite step forward for Portugal. The Man.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson